News & Analysis

  1. Overheard

    “Yes, the President of the United States might have an entire division of highly trained agents dedicated to protecting his life, and one of the world’s most competent social media teams. But on the internet, chaos reigns — for good, for ill. No mass of mere meat-power can hold the barricades. Maybe the next press conference will give us an official White House position on block lists.”

    — The Verge's Adi Robertson on racists harassing @POTUS

  3. strictly-business

    ICANN head to depart for private sector

    ICANN president and chief executive Fadi Chehadé has announced that he will be leaving the organization for the private sector in March 2016. Chehadé has been an advocate for separating his organization, which controls the Internet’s naming system, from the United States government. [Source: ICANN]
  4. elsewhere

    AdultFriendFinder hacked

    AdultFriendFinder has been hacked, and information about some 4 million users’ email addresses, dates of birth, IP addresses, and postal codes were compromised. The hack will also reveal someone’s sexual orientation, and whether or not they were using the service to cheat on a spouse. Much of this data has already been made available to spammers. [Source: The Guardian]
  5. facebook-taking-over

    Germany sues e-commerce sites for sharing data with Facebook

    Facebook isn’t the only company receiving flack from regulators over the data it collects through its “Like” button. Germany’s consumer watchdog has sued two e-commerce companies for using the button on their websites because, the Wall Street Journal reports, the sites didn’t warn visitors that their personal data would be shared with Facebook. The news follows months of intense scrutiny of Facebook’s data practices across much of Europe, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, and Spain,…
  7. strictly-business

    HP split to cost between $400M and $450M

    HP’s plan to split into HP Inc. (which will focus on consumer products like printers and personal computers) and Hewlett-Packard Enterprises (which will focus on, you know, enterprise products) is expected to cost between $400 million and $450 million. That cost will be split evenly between the split companies, according to HP chief executive Meg Whitman. [Source: Fortune]
  8. elsewhere

    Bing indexes app data

    Everyone’s second-or third-favorite search engine is building a new index for apps and “app actions.” In turn, Bing is asking developers to implement two standards — app links and’s “action vocabulary” — so it can discover all the information buried inside their mobile applications. [Source: Bing]
  9. uber

    Uber ‘in talks for $1B credit facility’

    In what many consider a precursor to a public offering, Uber is said to be seeking a $1 billion credit line from “six or seven” banks. The company has raised more than $5 billion in debt and equity since it was founded, and it’s reportedly looking to raise even more soon. [Source: The Wall Street Journal]
  11. google-car-bumper-sticker

    Here’s how Google plans to disassociate the White House from racist search terms

    Google plans to implement a “key algorithmic change” to prevent its mapping product from displaying racist results, like showing the White House when people search for “n***** house.” Yes that actually happened. The company was previously criticized because its algorithms took everything they learned from the Web, which is just chock full of racists and morons, and decided it would be appropriate to connect the term above to the White House. Google explains in its blog post that these mistaken…
  12. silicon-valley-carla-

    HBO’s “Silicon Valley” creators once again punt on sexism issue

    satire [n]: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc There are two major criticisms brought against HBO’s Silicon Valley: The first is that it just isn’t that funny, at least when compared to some of Mike Judge’s other films and television shows, including Idiocracy, Office Space, and King of the Hill. The second, less subjective critique is that as the preeminent commentary on the new tech economy, the show has failed to properly address one of the…
  14. burnett

    David Letterman and the long, Internet-enabled decline of the nightly talk show

    Every once in a while we like to throw a PandoMonthly curve ball. A fascinating guest who entrepreneurs can learn from but who you probably weren’t expecting to see on a Pando stage. One of the first of those curveballs– and still one of my favorite PandoMonthlys– was a fireside chat with Rob Burnett, executive producer of David Letterman’s production company, WorldWide Pants. I’d gotten to know Burnett because he was promoting a new film, made and distributed using tons of technology that’s democratized…
  15. hackers-no-hacking

    The US wants to restrict exports of software vulnerabilities. But is that such a good idea?

    Researchers are concerned about a United States Commerce Department plan to treat software vulnerabilities like “dual-use” items that could be weaponized. Reuters reports that the department’s plan, which follows a 2013 agreement to regulate similar software, would make it illegal to share software vulnerabilities outside specific nations that signed the Wassennar Agreement two years ago. (41 nations, including the US and its intelligence allies, signed that agreement.) Many agree that sharing knowledge about software vulnerabilities with the wrong people…
  16. boston_city

    MassChallenge is quietly growing into one of the most influential forces for global entrepreneurship

    Through a maze of hallways, each indistinguishable from the next, in the still very under-construction and hard to find HULT International School of Business on the Boston-Cambridge line, the world’s largest startup accelerator, MassChallenge, held the official welcoming ceremony yesterday afternoon for the 128 startups that will be joining its four-month bootcamp for early stage companies. It was an appropriate setting for the organization that may be Boston’s greatest contribution to the U.S. startup ecosystem, and yet gets overlooked in…
  18. facebook-newsfeed-changes

    How health site “The Mighty” thinks it can build the next big content platform without selling its soul to Facebook

    When Mike Porath’s daughter was diagnosed with a chromosome disorder that includes autism and other challenges, he spent a lot of time on WebMD. “But WebMD didn’t cover the day-to-day challenges and the emotional side,” said Porath. There was no digital equivalent, he felt, to the indispensable routine of talking to other families that are going through the same thing. And so with a CV that includes being editor-in-chief at AOL, an executive at SpinMedia, and a journalist for the New York Times…
  19. elsewhere

    Cisco reportedly altered Russia sales records

    BuzzFeed reports that Cisco altered its sales records after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia preventing it from selling Internet equipment to the country’s military or security forces. The report claims that Cisco was even able to sell equipment to the FSB; executives at the company have “vehemently denied” allegations that they tried to evade any sanctions. [Source: BuzzFeed]
  20. snowden-nsa

    Snowden documents show spy agencies exploiting issues with China’s most popular browser

    New reports from CBC News and the Intercept show that intelligence agencies in Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand exploited vulnerabilities in Alibaba’s UC Browser to surveil 500 million people. The agencies also planned to use various app stores to distribute their spyware. The reports indicate that UC Browser offered up all kinds of information about its users. This is notable because it’s the most popular Web browser in China and…

The Week in Review